Sunday, June 23, 2013

OCMD to Wilmington

We departed early Sunday morning due to wx heading up the Chesapeake Bay. We loaded 08Romeo on the ramp then parked our airport car back in the main lot.  Preflight completed we got the fan turning and taxied out for departure.
I had filed just in case but the wx looked good enough to make a VFR flight home. We launched of runway one four and climbed out to the north. I had some mist at one thousand and it looked thicker up ahead and despite maybe 5-6 miles visibility the horizon was now lost.
I made a call to Dover and opened my instrument flight plan. I was cleared to ILG from present position direct DQO, climb and maintain 5000. I made a nice climb to altitude at 90 knots indicated and ground speed of 111 knots.  I leveled off at five and we road a very nice tail wind to the tune of 130 knots. As we approached Dover I heard other traffic reporting IMC at six and above. I could just start to make out the Salem nuclear plant steam and soon had the cooling towers in view.
Dover handed me off to Philly and I checked in with five thousand level and had the wx at ILG. Philly stepped me down to four then down to three which put us just east of the middle of the belching cooling tower and a few good bumps. I reported the field in sight an was dumped of to the Wilmington tower for the visual runway one nine.  A super smooth landing and taxi to tie down ended our beach weekend.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Destination 2 - KOXB

After a fun filled day flying with Mike it was time to load up and get to the beach for a long weekend.  Yes, I bagged another day and have tomorrow (Friday) off too.  Traffic was moving pretty good and we made it back to the airport pretty quick.  Mary and I loaded up our golf clubs, extra clothes for the upcoming fourth of July week and a few provisions for the new pup Ziva's arrival next Saturday.
Looking across the Delaware bay towards NJ
The layer Mike and flew through had blown through south-south west and my path down along the Delaware River and Bay looked clear. I didn't bother to file, instead decided on a VFR flight and a pop up if needed to get into Ocean City. I did decide to contact Dover for flight following since he seemed busy with military traffic and I would be just over his airspace.
sunset west bound RT 90 bridge
A fun uneventful flight to the beach followed by dinner at OC Steamers. Dinner was ok, I guess having a steak at a seafood place wasn't the brightest thing to do. The NY Strip tasted great but I could have driven a nail into the floor with it, live and learn. At least we got to kick back at the motor home and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Ricmond, VA - Columbia Shopping

I wish I could write this post with a straight face and tell you all "I" am Columbia shopping, sorry, no can do.  My friend Mike is looking at planes and he really likes the Columbia.  Now Mike was a cirrus guy but I think I may have talked him off that cliff and turned him on to the Columbia.

I won't go into all the particulars of cirrus vs Columbia or all the investigations of our day. I will say it was sweet to get an education on the aircraft and to finally get the up close inspection I had always hoped for.

I bagged a day of work and met Mike at 08Romeo by 8am. I had pre-ordered fuel and sure enough she was topped off as directed. I did my pre-flight and sumped as Mike walked across the ramp. I was right seat for this flight working the radios and navigating.
Mike had filed for KILG DQO ENO PXT TAPPA KRIC.  The wx was so nice we decided on a VFR flight south. When I picked up my taxi instructions the controller didn't ask if I wanted to pick up my clearance and instead just rattled them off. I had to break the news we were not going to pick up the clearance and instead choose to enjoy a VFR flight.
Our flight went smooth and we eventually worked our way into the pattern at Richmond sandwiched in between jets taking off and one up our six. Mike made a nice landing and with airport taxi diagram in hand and the Garmin 496 taxi screen up we made our way to Richmond Jet.
We got a nice tour of the shop and Mike met Russ who showed us the Columbia 300 that is for sale.  The shop was packed with Columbia aircraft, the drool factor was very high and I had to work to control my stupid. A nice plane for sale and Mike took plenty of photos and notes.
We finished up and headed back out to 08Romeo so we could make a short hop north, all of ten minutes, to Hanover, KOFP.  There was a Columbia 350 listed for sale and Mike figured he would check it out since we were pretty much next door.
After an extensive walk around and photo session Mike made some notes and went through the log books to make sure they matched what he was sent electronically. Stop two was complete and it was time to head home. I still wanted to fly to the beach tonight and I didn't want to contend with rush hour traffic.
We made the flight home VFR but once north of the Virginia state line we would need a pop up to get through north of Dover. I took over the flying while Mike got us the pop up and off we went.  Of course Dover 'always' requests a descent to four then three thousand and this trip would be no different. I guess I added .2 to my IMC totals and it felt different but fun flying from the right seat and bugging new headings.
We got back to ILG and I headed home to pick up my Bride.  Mike cleaned the windscreen and left 08Romeo uncovered but secured for our quick departure. A fun day flying with Mike and drooling over planes, it sure beats working!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another no-go

We were off to the beach on Friday but our 7pm departure did not have a nice welcome planned for us at Ocean City MD.  The REAL problem is that I am not night current and could not push the flight back to wait out the wx. We gave leaving Saturday morning some thought but we were packed and ready to go, besides I wanted to play a round of golf on Saturday morning.
Yes, sigh, we ground pounded once again.  I may have to change my blog to Gary's Driving Journal if this trend keeps up!  It was a 2.5 hour run to the motor home and a good nights rest after a Royal Farms chicken dinner.
Saturday was beach day for Mary and her friend Jo Ann, I caught up with my friend Ted and played a round at Assateague Greens Golf Center. I shot a 48 on a par 27 course.  My drivers are a bit out of control but my irons are getting better. The ladies and I finished off the night watching the movie Broken City and called it an evening.
Hey, look at me!
Sunday we got up early and I made breakfast. While we sat an ate up the pancakes we watched a second movie, Guilt Trip, some good laughs indeed.
No close up's
Ziva meets Dad
Eventually we got on the road and headed for North East MD.  We made arrangements to meet our new pup, an American Mastiff.  We picked out her name and left a deposit, Ziva will be coming home on June 29th!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

N/A Puppy Update

The Girls are now 4 weeks old.  We are scheduled to visit this Sunday and meet them both.

First the Fawn female at 4 weeks....
And now the Apricot female now 4 weeks....
We would take them both if we could! 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Golf AND Flying

The Golf
Mary and I got up early and decided on a round of golf today. We played the home course, nine holes. Clayton Park is great for beginners, or so they told us.  Well there are trees, I found a few, and no bunkers, that's always a positive.  What we didn't know was, it is up and down the hills. The 9-hole course at the Clayton Park golf facility in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania features 1,600 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 30 . The course rating is 35.5 and it has a slope rating of 113.
The place was packed and we played at a good pace.  By the end my legs were burning, I'm out of shape and really need to pedal the stationary bike more miles.  I did see an older guy, ok, older than me bent over sucking air.  I did ask if he was ok and he said yeah, and I play every other day.  I didn't have the heart to tell him if he quit sucking on that cigarette he might have some oxygen to use.  I shot a 48 on the par 30. I'm happy making progress and this was only our third round.

The Flying
Mike and I traded text messages and he was available to fly. I almost backed out since we were headed out to grab a bite to eat and I needed to shower and change.
 The last text message said no hurry and with that I hit the showers and soon after got moving to the airport.  Mike had started the pre-flight and I helped/got in the way as he finished up. No real plan so we narrowed the choice to Ocean City NJ or Harrisburg PA.  We went west. The plan was for Mike to shoot the ILS 31 into KMDT, then make the short hop VFR to Lancaster, KLNS for fuel.
It was very hazy today and maybe we should have filed but we flew VFR with 7-8 mile visibility. Harrisburg approach was easy to work with and my job as safety pilot was to spot traffic, eyes outside. The left seat was busy with foggles and chugging and plugging on the 496 for wx and the 530 for the approach.
Harrisburg changed things up a bit and wanted us to fly the ILS 13 approach and Mike dialed everything in. We were vectored on a very wide left downwind passing just south of Cap City then turned north to intercept the localizer. We road the rails very nice and concluded the approach with the option for a touch and go.

We climbed out and pointed towards Lancaster for a quick gas and go. Approach handed us off  to the tower and we landed on runway two six. Mike got on himself for floating down the runway and I said it was faster than trying to taxi to turn off, I don't think he bought it.
With a belly full of fuel 08Romeo launched for home. I was busy taking in the view and enjoyed every minute of it. Mike called Philly and requested the GPS 19 approach and they pointed us to JIGUP direct. Another nice approach terminating with a full stop for our taxi to my Red Eagle tie down.  2 hours in the book and a fun flight. Temps at 3.5 to 4.5 were just sixty degrees, it was very comfortable in the plane this afternoon.

Now that I posted this write up I'm going to pour a tall cold glass of tea and munch on some guacamole and Tostitos® Scoops!® .  A few Advil's tossed in and I'll feel great in the morning.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Aviation Mentor Gone West

My aviation world has tumbled with the loss of one of my mentors and friend. Bo Boggs inspired this very blog and Mary and my travels on our Magic Carpet, the Sundowner. Why is magic carpet in italics? I’ve decided to throw out a few Bo-isms along the way, one of the many things that made Bo and his Bride Sandra, The Redhead, so special to Mary and me.

Bo’s blog, Flights of the Mouse is now offline. I can’t bring myself to delete from my favorites list, I most likely never will. I still smile when I see the link and I’ll miss my anxious anticipation for the next chapter in their travels.
Bo was always the southern gentleman, a rare find indeed; he is a person who has left their mark in my memory and in my heart. Bo battled lung cancer for five months. As he had always explained new things in flying and the simple approach to it all, I referenced that while talking to him. I made the comment to him one day on the phone that it’s like eating a pizza, one bite at a time. And as the saying goes, so he should do battle, one day at a time, keeping up the fight. He found the humor in that, we both paused and enjoyed a laugh, despite the serious times ahead.
Bo loved the redhead, of that I’m sure. He loved flying, traveling to new places and hangar flying with the airport bums. He was a hands on get it done man and openly shared his passion for flight and was quick to offer advice and help when needed.
I wish I knew him longer and lived closer together to have learned more from him. This is a new adventure for him, a different kind of travel. No bad wx, nothing but clear skies and tailwinds. Don’t give it a second thought my friend; if you don’t have what you need with you, you can buy find it when you get there.
E. Bo Boggs, Jr., age 71, of Plano, Texas passed away May 30, 2013. He was born September 10, 1941 in Knoxville, Tennessee to Elmo Eugene Boggs, Sr. and Gwendolyn (Penny) Boggs. Bo proudly served in the United States Air Force. On May 6, 1987 he married Sandra Crocker in Bonham, Texas.

He is survived by his wife, Sandra Boggs of Plano, Texas; son, Elliott Boggs of Beaumont, Texas; daughter, Ginger Carpenter and husband, Tim of Gordonsville, Texas; grandchild, Roo Carpenter; sister, Julie Fielding and husband, Larry of Enon, Ohio.

Bo's Memorial

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Beating the Race Traffic

Friday 5/31/2013
This weekend is race weekend at Dover Downs Raceway.  For anyone that is not blessed with such an event, consider yourself lucky.  I enjoy racing but I hate the thought of driving anywhere around the track or interstate system for 25 miles in each direction.
Mary and I needed to move some items to the motor home including the new crate for the puppy. We had the Sundowner packed and I had ordered fuel to the tabs, makes for a 30 gallon total on a 45 minute flight.  When we got to the plane Friday night it was fueled to the slots which added an estimated sixty pounds to my payload. I did a quick calculation with my iPhone app WnB Pro and I was still good to go despite the ninety plus degree temps and density altitude issues.
We launched for Ocean City and flew as filed KILG-ENO-EZIZI-KOXB.  Temps at six thousand were cool and the ride was smooth.  Dover stepped us down around KGED and handed us off to Patuxent who advised expect visual approach to one four.  I made a nice landing in crosswinds and taxied to a tie down in front of the jump school.

Saturday 6/1/2013

Our main mission this weekend was to meet with a real estate agent and look at potential homes for retirement. We found a really nice floor plan that we both loved and I think that will be our target style home. More on the retirement front later.
I also had a chance to help one of our neighbors who was digging footers for his new deck. It was a nice work out and he's a really nice guy.
Mary captured my best side!
I had some work to do around the motor home so I snapped a quick shot that shows our set up. Yes, that's our little beach buggy, the VW Cabrio.
There is a funny this weekend, it happened at the Food Lion market.  I was going to sign the credit card slip and the lady handed me a pen.  A pen with a spoon attached.  I had to ask why and she just giggled. So, I'm sharing my find at the market.

Sunday 6/2/2013

It was an early start this morning. We both wanted a smooth ride home and the winds were already picking up in Ocean City. The forecast for Wilmington was calling for afternoon rain and there were thunder boomers moving toward the area. We didn't want to tangle we either so we launched around nine-ish.
I did file but it was so nice I wanted to just enjoy the flight with my Bride and enjoy our breakfast we picked up. We made a stop to top off the airport car fuel and while there walked into the store next door.  Fractured Prune donut shop has the most amazing donuts. We each purchased a bottle of milk to wash it all down and it was the perfect in flight snack.
The tailwinds were great and it made for a quick smooth ride home. We did hit some bumps when we let down for Wilmington but not to bad at all.

We did get to see few pictures of our 3 week old American Mastiff pup. We will either bring home a fawn or Apricot little girl. Mary and I are so excited!!